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740531 - Conversation B - Geneva
(Conversation with Mr. C. Hennis of the International Labor Organization of the U.N.)
C. Hennis: ...no, that's all right.
Prabhupāda: No. Give him chair. Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Devotees: Hare Kṛṣṇa.
C. Hennis: Your disciples were kind enough to call on me and invite me to come and have a talk with you.
Prabhupāda: That is very kind of you.
C. Hennis: Thank you very much. I come from the International Labour Organization, which is an organization in the United Nations family. It's the second organization after the United Nations itself, and it's interested in every form of labor, every form of activity connected with labor, and the protection of the worker, the welfare of the worker. And in many respects, of course, our preoccupations must overlap with yours in certain respects of the activities, of man in general and his protection and his well-being.
Prabhupāda: So according to our Vedic conception, the labor class man is supposed to be the fourth-class man. First-class man, intelligentsia, very intelligent, learned. Or intelligent—one who can understand up to God. To understand God requires great intelligence. So first intelligent class of men, up to, they are called brāhmaṇa. The next-intelligent class man, those who give protection to the society, kṣatriya. And the third class, those who produce food and distribute. They are third class. And other, all others, they are fourth class.
C. Hennis: My organization is in fact concerned with the well being of all four classes. It is not only with the laboring man. It's also primarily with the producers, but also with the managers, leaders, and to a certain extent also with the protective classes in that we are interested in the well-being of policemen, hospital personnel, doctors, nurses, that kind of..., social security workers, and that kind of person. We are interested in the intelligentsia in that they are professional workers, often independent, whose professional rights and obligations need to be safeguarded and codified. That's a standard laid down in the form of international labor standards. One of our activities, not perhaps now the most important, but one of the first activities...
Prabhupāda: No. My point was, point is that... Because one is fourth class, therefore we are not interested in that—it is not my point. My point is that there are four classes of men: first class, second class, third class, fourth class. And our point of view, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, is meant for taking care of all classes of men. Although by natural divisions there are four classes of men—first class, second class, third class, fourth class—but the example we generally give, just like in your body there are four divisions: the head division, the arm division, the belly division and the leg division, but all of them meant for keeping the body fit. And body is meant for giving supply to every one of them. But if you comparatively make division, the head comes the first division, the arms comes the second division, the belly comes the third division and the legs comes the fourth division. So we should organize in such a way that all the classes of men in the society be happy, not that we simply take care of the head. The same example: In your body it is not your business just simply take care of the head or the leg. No. All these different divisions of your body, you take care. That is healthy body. When your brain is working nicely, when your arms are working nicely, your abdomen is working nicely and legs are working nicely, then you are fit. If you simply take care of the legs, not of the brain, that is not a good, healthy body.
C. Hennis: No. I think...
Prabhupāda: Just let me finish. So United Nation is taking care of the fourth-class department of the society. What they are taking care of the first-class department? That is my question.
Nitāi: He is asking what are they doing to care for that first division.
Prabhupāda: At the present moment in the society, there is very, very little care for the first-class intellectual class of men.
C. Hennis: The International Labour Organization has as one of its major aims to promote social justice, and that means that every class of worker, if you like to accept the four categories that you mentioned—the intellectual, the productive, the protective, and the laboring classes—should each have their proper place in society, should each have a full measure of human dignity, and should each have a proper share in the rewards for labor, both clearly material rewards and honors and dignity and leisure and time for..., free time for meditation and so on. In the International Labour Organization, we are not, like UNESCO, devoted to the more philosophical and cultural and educational aspects for the intelligentsia, but I would draw your attention to the fact that the UNESCO is very much concerned with looking after the head part of society.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So that is my request to you.
C. Hennis: That's UNESCO. That I can't answer upon very fully. But I would suggest that they are, in that way, UNESCO, United Nations through UNESCO, is very active in promoting culture and in stimulating philosophical thought. We, in..., on our side, are more concerned with the place of the worker in society, and our organization is conceived along a peculiar model which we call the tripartite system. The members of our organization are states, not governments, but states, and each state is represented in our conference by two government delegates, one delegate of the employers and one delegate of the workers. And so the decisions that are reached, the same pattern goes down through the other organs of the organization. But the decisions that are reached in the International Labour Organization are thus not decisions which are only those of the government or the governing classes. They are decisions which represent a very broad consensus of opinions between both the employers and the workers as well as governments. And to that extent we do hope to find agreed solutions that have a very wide basis of ratification. After they are agreed upon by these three different elements of society represented in our International Labour Conference and in the other organs of the International Labour Organization, we endeavor to get the decisions ratified by national governments. In other words, the people who are here go back to their countries and try and get the decisions ratified so that a measure of uniformity in social justice and in the treatment of labor and in the protection of labor and in social security and in occupational safety and health and of all these things which are bound up with work, and also payments to professional workers such as architects, nurses, doctors, people who work on a quite independent basis without being employed—it's not necessarily employees—veterinarians and so on. The conditions of employment...
Prabhupāda: According to Vedic conception, the higher class of men, first class, second class, third class, they are never to be employed. They remain free. Only the fourth-class men, they are employed.
C. Hennis: Well the third class would be what kind of typical worker?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Third-class men means making provision for the society for eating. That is... It is stated, kṛṣi-go-rakṣya-vāṇijyam (BG 18.44). Kṛṣi means agriculture, and go-rakṣya means cow protection, and vāṇijyam means trade. That means the third-class men, they would give protection to the cows, produce enough food grain, and if there is excess, then it can be traded. So this is the business of the third-class men.
C. Hennis: That would cover businessmen and tradesmen and farmers. The International Labour Organization is very much concerned with...
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. Farmers means... Nowadays especially in the Western country, I see the farmer means they are raising cows for being killed. There is no cow protection.
C. Hennis: That may well be the case. That may well be the case. As it is not by any means...
Prabhupāda: I have seen. I have seen in England, I have seen in America, they simply raise the cows for being killed in future. You see? But the duty of the agriculturist, they should give very, very protection to the cows especially.
C. Hennis: This doesn't apply to bulls and bullocks and male animals generally, does it?
Prabhupāda: No, bullocks also. Cow means bullock also.
C. Hennis: Oh, I see.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Cow is feminine, bullock is the masculine, that's all.
C. Hennis: So they don't... So it's the whole bovine race that's protected, and not just the cows themselves, not just the female cows?
Prabhupāda: No, both the male and female. The bullocks are used for so many other purposes. They can till the field. They can be used...
C. Hennis: Draft animals.
Prabhupāda: ...for transportation, so many other purposes. Or even we are spreading Kṛṣṇa consciousness. During Kṛṣṇa's time... Kṛṣṇa was born of a very well-to-do father, but at that time the bullocks were engaged for transportation from one village to another, one village to another. Or for carrying goods. Actually the United Nation should now think how the whole human society can live peacefully for a purpose of life, not whimsically, without any purpose of life. Now, anywhere... We are preaching; we are going everywhere. If I ask any gentleman, any philosopher, any scientist, if I ask him that "What is the purpose of life?" he cannot explain. That means there is lack of intelligent class of men. Nobody knows what is the purpose of life.
C. Hennis: Well, I think that the International Labour Organization is devoted to the reduction of inequalities between the different classes of men with a view to giving them all a better share of the good things of life, and by that, to enable them to reach a greater degree of human happiness, as they understand it, as the people themselves understand it. It may be that they don't understand it right.
Prabhupāda: No. Nature's way is not better share, but equal share. Just like when you take foodstuff, put it in the stomach, and when it is easily digested and transformed into different secretion and comes to the heart and becomes blood, there is equal distribution. Not that because brain is first class, therefore the blood transformation to the brain should go more. No. Then it will be blood pressure, high blood pressure. This is nature's way, that... But when the energy goes to the brain, it acts differently. When the energy goes to the hands, it acts differently. The electricity energy is the same, but sometimes by working on the Dictaphone, sometimes on this microphone, sometimes in electric heater, sometimes in refrigerator... The different apparatuses are there, but the energy is the same, equal. In that sense, the communistic idea that whatever energy is there, whatever resources are there, they should be equally distributed, that is nature's way. From the body we can understand that when the foodstuff turns into secretion, it goes to the heart and becomes blood. The blood is transfused through different veins to different parts of the body, and you will find everybody is satisfied.
C. Hennis: When you say equal shares, in certain things like food, I think that would probably be true of the general approach of...
Prabhupāda: I am not speaking of the food. I am speaking of the benefit. Benefit should be equally shared. Now, benefit means... Suppose you can eat more than me. You can eat, say, half a pound of foodstuff, or I can eat one pound foodstuff. So to give me food one pound, and to give you food half pound, that is equal, because I require so much. Similarly, the benefit must be equal, as far as you require, I require. Therefore we call it benefit. There is not, I mean to say, discrimination in deriving the benefit out of the energy produced in the body. Then everything will be all right. And if the brain works nicely, if the arms work nicely, if the stomach works nicely and the legs work nicely, then you are healthy body. You can do everything very nice.
C. Hennis: And then, in taking the analogy into terms of the world society, we have a society which is properly integrated and properly balanced. This is an idea which is by no means alien to the (indistinct) is it?
Prabhupāda: My original point was that if we take simply care of the fourth-class division of the society, do not take care of the first-class division of the society, then, in spite of taking care of the fourth-class society, it will not grow very nicely. Because the brain is not in order.
C. Hennis: No, er... I think that in fact my organization is really intimately concerned with all three classes of the...
Prabhupāda: That was my point, that you are taking of the laborer class. That is just like the legs.
C. Hennis: Well "labor" in fact means any kind of work, any kind of activity, any kind of occupational activity that brings in.
Prabhupāda: But you cannot say the... Any kind of activities, but everyone has got particular type of activity.
C. Hennis: Quite so.
Prabhupāda: You cannot say, "I can do any kind of work." I can give you advice about spiritual life, but if you require medical advice, then you have to go to somebody else. You cannot expect medical advice from me. So this is not a fact, that everyone can do everything. No.
C. Hennis: No, no, I agree. I agree.
Prabhupāda: There must be division. There must be division, and each division must be maintained very nicely. Then the whole society is all right.
C. Hennis: That I would agree with. And my organization...
Yogeśvara: Perhaps one difference is that when we speak about the first class, or the head division, the intellectual class, we are speaking about a class that is people who belong to that class by qualification, not simply that they have some title that they are professor or that they are scholar. They have to be properly qualified.
C. Hennis: It's difficult to be a professor or a doctor unless you may have some type of qualification.
Yogeśvara: Well, he says it's difficult to be any kind of doctor or professor unless you are properly qualified.
Prabhupāda: No, from this point of... He is right. Unless he has got the medical degrees, unless he is educated... We also say that thing, that unless one is sufficiently educated in medical science or legal science, he cannot be said a medical man or a legal man.
C. Hennis: You see, my organization represents all the states in the world practically, all the states of any importance in the world, with the exception of a few like Monaco and San Marino and Andorra and that kind of place. And through my organization, the states of the world—and that doesn't only mean governments—express their concern and endeavor to improve the lot of all of the people who are active in some way in the economy and in modern society. These may be professional workers. We don't deal with medical doctors, because that is the problem of the World Health Organization. We don't deal with teachers and university professors and philosophers and so on, because that is more the province of UNESCO, and they deal with it very thoroughly. We don't deal exclusive... We don't deal by any means fully with the actual production of foodstuffs. This is the FAO, the Food and Agriculture Organization, who does it. What we do do, we look after the rewards the people get for the work they do in the ordinary way of life as employees in offices, in banks, in commerce, in shops, trading. We are very interested in developing rural areas and in improving the lot of the rural worker, so that the rural worker will no longer be under a disadvantage by comparison with the workers in the towns; so that they will have proper facilities, proper leisure and proper opportunities for self-improvement in the country as well as in the towns.
Prabhupāda: I may say in this connection, in America, the laborer class is very highly paid. Anyone, any labor class man, can earn $25, $50 daily, very easily. But because there is no direction of the brain, these labor class of men—I have seen—they, especially these Negroes, 51%, they are drunkards. They spend their money in drinking. They do not know how to utilize the money, because the brain is not giving direction. Or they have no brain. "I have got so much money. How I shall utilize it?" As soon as he gets money, he use it..., he uses it for drinking. You may think that you are sufficiently paying to the labor class, worker class, but because he is not guided by brain, he is misspending the money.
C. Hennis: We are interested in that, too. We are interested in that, too. We don't want to tell people how to spend their money. We think that this would be an in...
Prabhupāda: You haven't got to say. But because he hasn't got brain, because he is not guided by the brain, he will misspend and create disturbance in the society.
C. Hennis: Well, we try to look after that in an indirect way. We don't, as I said, we don't tell people how to spend their money. We don't tell them what to do in their free time. We do try to make sure that they have proper facilities for leisure, that they have proper opportunities, sports grounds, swimming pools and so forth, although that's not our primary concern. But what we do try to do, and this will interest you very much, we have a very big program concerned with workers' education. We endeavor to provide programs of education to the worker in teaching him how to understand the problems of modern industry, to understand the problems of management, the people on the other side of the table, of the bargaining table; to understand how to read a balance sheet, for example, in a company, or understand what are the problems that face the management as distinct from the workers in a firm; to understand of the basic rudiments of economics and finance and that kind of thing. This is a very highly developed program which is addressed to adult workers. Now, clearly if a man wants to drink, he wants to drink. But we feel... We are not interested in the drink particularly, except in that it represents a hazard at work. When it represents a hazard at work, and it may be dangerous to the man in his occupation, there, of course, we are interested in it, and we try to limit it in such ways as it is possible to limit it. We do feel by improving the man's...
Yogeśvara: There is an interesting story, if I may mention in this connection. Rūpānuga Mahārāja, one of our students, before joining the movement was a social worker. And he told me once a story about a particular case of a woman who was in a very destitute position. Her husband was in the hospital, she had five children, and one was... So many problems were there. And Rūpānuga was going and giving her her weekly money from the government, welfare check. And one day he came unexpectedly, because part of his job was to see how they were using the money. And he found her there in her apartment with a strange man and drugs and alcohol on the floors, and the children running naked, and he was obliged to stop giving her the money. Simply because there had been no proper use of it, there was no point in giving it. It was not doing her any good. To improve her situation superficially wasn't improving the situation at all.
Prabhupāda: (indistinct) no?
C. Hennis: Yes. Well, of course it's only by a long term of general program of cultural improvement that you can hope to overcome that kind of problem. On the other hand, it would be, I think, wrong to argue from that experience that the provision of welfare benefits to all people who are destitute should be stopped, you see. It is true that these things are abused.
Prabhupāda: No, we don't want to say that.
C. Hennis: It's true these are abused, but the fact that a good thing is abused doesn't tire it into a bad thing.
Prabhupāda: No, that is not the point. Point is that everyone should be guided by the brain. Therefore the brain must be maintained. That is our point.
C. Hennis: Well, as I..., I would say, to the extent that it has a bearing on improving a man's position in his job, improving his skills at work and improving his ability to represent his fellowman in trade unions and that kind of thing, we are concerned with it. We are concerned with generally improving his general culture, his general education, and in particular his education as a worker in relation to industrial and trade union life in general. We hope that by this means a man will improve his status, and by improving his status, he will have other things to think about than just getting drunk. Well that's the...
Yogeśvara: We find that in our Society, all of our men, in whatever particular capacity of work they have, are now hundred times more productive than they were before they came to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, simply because now they have found peace of self, and therefore they are in a better position to execute their prescribed duties successfully.
C. Hennis: Are you saying that they do more work?
Prabhupāda: No. Do work intelligently. Not that to be very hard working like ass, without any intelligence. Just like ass is the most hard-working animal, but it has no intelligence. You see? So we don't want that. We want working with intelligence. That is difference.
C. Hennis: Well, as I said, to that extent we do try to improve a man's understanding, a man's understanding of the world, and I agree it's the developed world, the industrialized world, and the...
Prabhupāda: But if he has no brain, if he is not guided by the brain, or if he has no brain, so what is the understanding? Understanding is "I have got money. Now let me drink," that's all. There must be...
C. Hennis: Yes. Of course, one can't force a man to be governed by his brain either. You can't force a man to use his brains.
Prabhupāda: Therefore brain is... The United Nation, how the world society should keep a class of men who act as brain and guide everyone so that everyone become happy.
Yogeśvara: That is our movement.
C. Hennis: I think that that's a...
Prabhupāda: That is our movement.
C. Hennis: ...a valid... That's a valid point, because it has always been found in every society that there is a need for a priestly class or a class of philosophical leaders of one kind or another. And in fact this is recognized in the whole of the world society. I think not only in the West, but in the East, too, there's a need for the religious, priestly class.
Prabhupāda: Now the so-called, the priestly society, priestly society, they are amending the Bibilical injunction according to their whims. Just like in the Bible, the injunction is, "Thou shall not kill." But the priestly class and all classes, they are simply killing. So how they can guide? They are keeping regular slaughterhouse for killing. So how they can guide? I have asked so many Christian gentlemen, including priests, that "Your injunction is that 'Thou shall not kill.' That is Lord Jesus Christ's order. Why you are violating this?" They give me vague answers. Directly it is said, "Thou shall not kill," and the whole world is simply killing poor animals and keeping up-to-date slaughterhouse.
C. Hennis: Well, I suppose they are adopting the principle that you yourself advocated just now. You said that the proper society is one which is based on...
Prabhupāda: That means lacking brain, lacking brain, lacking brain.
C. Hennis: But the whole world, apart from the human beings, the animal world is entirely composed of beings that eat one another. The only beings that are never eaten are whales and elephants. All of the others are eaten by some bigger animal, and I suppose that the justification that they have for maintaining slaughterhouses is that it is just a cleaner way of killing than for a lion to jump on the back of an antelope.
Prabhupāda: What is that? What is the supposed...
C. Hennis: It's just a cleaner way of killing.
Yogeśvara: It is the natural order, that all animals... There are many species of animals that eat flesh, and that man is simply following the natural order.
Prabhupāda: Natural means, that means he should become animal. Like, he should imitate like the animal. That is man's progress, do you mean to say?
C. Hennis: Well, that's no doubt the rationale that they use.
Prabhupāda: I understand your point. That we also say, that any living entity has to live by eating another living entity. That is natural. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam (SB 1.13.47). It is said in the Vedic literature that one living entity is the food for another living entity.
C. Hennis: That's true...
Prabhupāda: Just hear me. But when you come to the form of human being, you should have discrimination. If you have no discrimination, simply you live like animal, then where is the difference? My only point is the lack of brain. Human being, he has been given by nature... They are also life—the fruits, the vegetables, the food grains, the milk, the sugar. They have got enough food value, and the human being should be satisfied within this group. Why they should maintain slaughterhouse and do not think that they are not sinful, and still they want to be happy without caring for God? That is lack of brain.
C. Hennis: My organization is not directly concerned with giving people brains.
Prabhupāda: No, your organization may not be directly concerned, but the human society, if it is brainless, however organization you may make, it will never become happy. That is my point.
C. Hennis: But it is concerned with taking away the obstacles which prevent people from attaining brain.
Yogeśvara: This is the obstacle.
C. Hennis: One of the obstacles is just plain poverty. One of the obstacles is overwork.
Prabhupāda: No, no. A human being should be considerate. Everyone has got religion. Either he is Hindu or Muslim or Christian, it doesn't matter, there must be discrimination between sinful activities and pious activities. Human being should be engaged for pious activities, not for sinful activities. That is human society. If the human being does not discriminate what is pious activities and what is sinful activity, that means lack of brain. He has no brain. He is no better than the animals.
Yogeśvara: Perhaps to make it clear for you, one of the natural results of this system is that a man that might be considered today impoverished, as you were mentioning for example some of the problems, a poor man, by our standards is not necessarily poor if he is Kṛṣṇa conscious. For example, in the Vedic culture, we are learning that a man is considered to be wealthy if he simply has a small patch of land and a cow and God consciousness, because his God consciousness will lead him to be satisfied by growing his own foods, taking milk from the cow. This is wealth, according to Vedic standard.
Prabhupāda: Therefore cow is specially recommended, go-rakṣya, because very important animal to the society. If those who are meat-eaters, they can eat the hogs and dogs, they can eat. The Vedic injunction is not prohibiting them. If you actually... Actually, a human being does not require to eat meat. He has got many other substitutes. But still if he wants to eat, let him eat the less important animals. Just like dog, hog, from the social point of view it has no utility. But why killing cows? It is delivering such a nice nutritious food, milk. Not only milk. According to Vedic system, the cow is so important, even the urine, even the stool of cow is important.
C. Hennis: Certainly. Certainly. It's important as a source of meat for...
Prabhupāda: So such an important... And besides that, from moral point of view, you are drinking the milk of cow, and after that you are sending to the slaughterhouse. Do you like to send your mother to the slaughterhouse?
C. Hennis: Hmm. No.
Prabhupāda: And the bull is giving you..., producing your food. Nowadays they have invented tractor or engaging sometimes horse. But in India still, the bulls are engaged for tilling the ground, the field, and produces. So from moral sense, the bull is producing your food and the cow is giving milk to you; therefore father and mother. Just like father produces food for the children and the mother gives the milk. So if the human society has not this simple brain of understanding, then where is brain?
C. Hennis: Of course, when you speak of the distinction to be made between pious activities and sinful activities, there has to be a...
Prabhupāda: They have no such distinction. There is no such distinction.
C. Hennis: You have to establish first of all a consciousness of sin.
Prabhupāda: No, it is already there. It is already there. Just like in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that kṛṣi-go-rakṣya-vāṇijyam (BG 18.44). Those who are interested in producing means of living or foodstuff in the society, say, the mercantile, the agriculturist, they should give protection to the cows. That is very essential, that milk is so important thing. If you get... Now we have, in your Western country, we have introduced such ideas in West Virginia. We have started one community project where we are keeping cows also. The cows are giving more milk than in other farm. They are so jubilant. Even up to eighty pounds milk they are giving, because they know that "These people will not kill me." They know it. They are very happy. We don't kill their calves. In other farms, as soon as the calf is there, in front of the mother they are killed. You see? So if these things go on without any brain, without any intelligence, you may make hundreds of organization, the society will never be happy. This is our verdict.
Yogeśvara: Your point was that the people need to be taught what is sin and what is pious activities?
C. Hennis: Well, they can't be accused of engaging in sinful activities when they don't think that what they are doing is sinful.
Prabhupāda: (laughs) Therefore, if they have no knowledge what is sinful, simply by instruction, "Don't do something sinful," so what is the use? They must know. We give in the beginning, in our Society, "These are sinful activities." What is that? "Meat-eating, sinful activity. And gambling, illicit sex and intoxication. You must give it up." All these European and American boys, they were habituated to all these things from the very birth. They did not know they are sinful. But since they have come to me, I have said, "These things are sinful," they have given up. And just compare with their character, with their behavior... (break)
- daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī
- mama māyā duratyayā
- mām eva ye prapadyante
- māyām etām (taranti te)
- (BG 7.14)
So we must know what is the law of nature, what nature wants. Nature does not want at least human being should be sinful. Then you will be punished.
C. Hennis: I think that there, in your whole philosophy, there must be a very large number of points of coincidence with the more materialist activities that we engage in. But, well, they're just trying to give people a fair share of the material things of life—proper wages, decent houses, decent opportunities for feeding and for leisure.
Yogeśvara: All that must be there, but without proper instructions simultaneously as to what is the goal of life...
C. Hennis: Yes, but I don't think you can properly expect to indoctrinate people. I don't think that... At least, you can't expect an international organization to indoctrinate people at the national level. I'm sure that the...
Prabhupāda: No, it is not national; it should be international. Just like everyone... United Nation, it is meant for international activity. Our only proposition is that as the international organization, United Nation, they should keep a class of men who should act as brain. Then it will be all right. Without brain, simply legs and hands working, no direction, that is not very good.
C. Hennis: I think you'd have to see the secretariat of the United Nations and the United Nations family of organizations, not so much as leaders and bosses and generals, if you like, but rather as the servants of mankind. I don't go...
Prabhupāda: We can see, provided we get the chance.
C. Hennis: I don't consider myself to be a leader of mankind. I am very much a servant of mankind with a view to helping people to reduce the differences between them, with a view to helping people to understand one another better. In my own particular branch in which I'm concerned we endeavor to make people understand one another in the manner of an interpreter, if you like, to show that they can..., to allow people to speak and understand with one another, and to enable them to comprehend each other's problems and understand why there is...
Prabhupāda: No. If there is actual brain, there is no problem. Just like if I have got good brain... I want to take this thing in my pocket. But if I have got brain, "No, this will be stealing," then I can refrain from it. But if I think that "It is lying here. I can take," what is that?
C. Hennis: I think that your effort of philosophy and teaching must really be directed, in the present state of affairs where countries are organized in the form of national states, must really be directed to the national leaders: the government, the people who exercise temporal and spiritual power in the various sovereign states. And the United Nations is a forum for these sovereign states. The International Labour Organization is a forum for the sovereign states on certain subjects related to labor and the protection of...
Prabhupāda: No, whatever subject may be, our point is the same. You just try to understand. If... You can organize so many, but if there is lack of brain, the brain is not in order, then any amount of suborganization, organization, will never be successful. That is my point.
C. Hennis: Yes, but there some people are better endowed with brains than others. Some people haven't got brains or not much brains.
Yogeśvara: But at least the direction must have brains. That's the point.
Prabhupāda: Yes. The brain... That this is the work of the first-class man, this is the work of the second-class man. Just like any organization, any office, "These are for these men, the class. These are meant for the superintendent. These are meant for..." Everywhere, there must be organization, not that everyone should work whimsically. No. There must be a managing board, managing director. He is giving direction. Under his direction, everyone is organized. So the United Nation, such a great... This was organized for the total benefit of the human society, but there is no department which is actually can be called the brain organization.
C. Hennis: That's true. That's true.
Prabhupāda: That is my point.
C. Hennis: That's true. They're servants of the membership, and the membership is the international..., of the states, of the world. And if the governments of the states of the world, if Mr. Giscard d'Estaing, Mr. Nixon and Mr. Wilson and all the others don't have brain, then I'm afraid the United Nations can do nothing to give them brains. There has to be... We are only the servants of these people. What we try and do is let them get together and help them understand one another.
Prabhupāda: Let them understand. At least, let them understand what they should do, what they should not do. This much...
C. Hennis: This we do try to do, to the extent that it is possible for the secretariat to shape and evolve a philosophy. We do try to do it. But of course. we can't adopt a completely radical approach. We do what we can in the manner of a good servant, and the manner of a good steward to try and help the leaders along the right path and right direction. Your Divine Grace, I thank you very much indeed for this audience. It's been very kind of you.
Prabhupāda: I may be a madman. (laughs) I have talked so many things, and you say all right.
C. Hennis: It's been very interesting indeed, and I thank you very much indeed for giving me the opportunity.
Prabhupāda: (laughing) But I am very much, I mean, strict on this point, that if the society does not know what is sinful and what is pious, it is all useless.
C. Hennis: Well, let's hope that there'll be a...
Prabhupāda: It can be a decoration. That we describe, "The decoration of the dead body." Anyone who has no brain, lost all brain, it is a dead body. So a dead body you can decorate to your full satisfaction, but what is the use of decorating a dead body?
C. Hennis: That's true. Well, thank you very much again. It's very kind of you.
Prabhupāda: Give him some prasāda. Please sit down for a moment.
C. Hennis: I have to go, because I have a lot to...
Yogeśvara: If you can wait just two minutes. One tradition is that we always offer our guests prasādam, foodstuffs that we prepared.
C. Hennis: Thank you very much. But I have to go very shortly. I have to...
Yogeśvara: Well perhaps I should give him downstairs.
Prabhupāda: No, no. Give him.
C. Hennis: May I? May I? Thank you very much. That's very kind of you. Thank you.
Prabhupāda: Thank you. (Mr. Hennis leaves)
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: It's true what you say, Prabhupāda. They come and they put forward their idea, and if you don't like it, well, "Oh!" but if you like it, "Oh, very good man." They have their own ideas. They don't take advantage.
Prabhupāda: What, his nonsense idea. From the result we see nobody is happy. What is this idea? They have big, big scientists, big, big politicians, big, big..., but where is the people are happy? They are simply fighting. Now, recently in Rome, Italy, the Communists and the Fascists fought, and six innocent person died. So where is the benefit of this United Nation? They do not have really brain. Manufacturing something, concocting something, that's all. Where is the brain? They have no discrimination between sinful activities and pious activities.
Yogeśvara: He admitted it.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Any sane man will admit it. Cow is giving milk—mother. And bull is producing food—he is father. And they are being killed. Is that human society? How they can be happy? There is no possibility. Regularly they are maintaining slaughterhouse, especially for the cows and bulls. Why don't you slaughter the dogs and hogs and eat, if you are meat-eater? There are many meat-eaters who eat dogs. Dog is useless. You can eat. Hog is also useless. They are eating also dog and hog, everything, whatever they...
Yogeśvara: His point was that they can... He was thinking that man has the capacity for resolving his own problems. Simply we have to come together and organize.
Prabhupāda: That is United Organization. Why do they not think all these things?
Yogeśvara: There is no direction.
Prabhupāda: No direction. There is no brain. Therefore for the last... Why last? Twenty years. Before that, in our younger days, the League of Nation, that was formulated in 1918, '19. So they are trying to unite the whole nation under different names from '18, apart from other year. So for the more than fifty-five, sixty years, they are all good brains of the nation, what they have done? That means they have no brain. The problems are increasing. Instead of decreasing the problems, they are increasing.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: You used the example that in the United States they have so much...
Prabhupāda: Now there was fight between two opposite nations. Now, within the nation there are so many opposite parties, they are fighting. So instead of nationwide, it has become homely affairs—my home, your home, fighting, that's all, although we belong to the same nation. So what is the improvement? Now in Italy the Fascist party and the Communist party, they fought, and so many people died. So this will increase, increasing partyism. So where is the brain?
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: So then the first point is to educate people who they are serving, they are working for.
Prabhupāda: Yes. First of all, there must be a class of men, ideal men, brain; people will follow them. My request is therefore that you should become ideal men. If we fight... Now there is fighting amongst ourself. That is very disappointment to me. The same politics, intrigues. The nature is so strong that brain becomes, what is called? Fag brain? Brain becomes deranged.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: I remember on a walk in Vṛndāvana, Your Divine Grace said that there should be no politics in our Society because a Vaiṣṇava means one who wants to help others become happy.
Prabhupāda: Now politics is coming in. As soon as we are getting money, the politics coming. That is a great concern.
Yogeśvara: What will happen to our temples in the cities? Will we keep them?
Yogeśvara: Our temples, these big, big temples we have now.
Prabhupāda: No, no. We have to weigh everywhere. Wherever there is opportunity to instruct about this spiritual subject matter, we must go there. We should not have such discrimination that city should be neglected. No. Why? They are also human being. They are misled. So we have to give them a little instruction. Everywhere. In city there is possibility. Whatever we have collected, our men, that is from city, not from the village. So why should we neglect city? Where is the question? (break) All hobgoblin, the last word which I said, "dressing the dead body, decorating the dead body." The society has no brain; that means dead body. When a man's brain is gone, he is dead body. Maybe he is living; he has no use. Just like a madman: he has got life, but what is the use of that life? He is already dead, because his brain is deranged. Is it not? So if the brain is lost, brain is deranged, therefore it is dead body. That is the distinction between living body and dead body. A living man has got brain. He can work with his brain. And the dead body... The body is there. Why call it dead? Because brain is not working. Brain is dead. That is the difference. Although the hand is there; the dead man has also hand. The leg is there; the dead man has also leg. But why the hand is leg(?)? Because the brain is dead.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Is it that the śūdra class of men should be trained that they are serving either God or a God conscious leader, or should they be educated to feel that their work is for God.
Prabhupāda: Yes, provided you are for God, they will see and learn. If you simply teach them, you do not do anything, then how they will learn? Āpani ācari prabhu jīve śikhāilā. When they actually see that "These men are dedicated to God," then they'll do whatever you wish.
Yogeśvara: They are making better organizations, but they are not giving any example to the people.
Prabhupāda: Everyone is concocting some ideas, and they are going on as different organization. That's all. No standard idea. The standard idea is there in the Bhagavad-gītā, that cows should be given protection, go-rakṣya. Who is following this? Everyone is making plan how to kill cows in a more scientific way. This is going on. Who is taking the instruction of Bhagavad-gītā? Nobody is taking. Even in India, where Bhagavad-gītā is originated, these rascals also not taking. And they have become so brainless. Therefore the whole human society is a dead society. And the dead society's dressing, decorating, is useless waste of time. That's all. Their education, their advancement... He has no brain. What is the use of education? That is said by Cāṇakya Paṇḍita, that snake is a snake. Do you think a snake decorated with a jewel on the hood is gentleman? Similarly, a man without brain, so-called education, is just like a jewel on the head of a serpent. Kim asau na bhayaṅkara. Cāṇakya Paṇḍita asks, "Whether a snake with jewel on the head is not fearful? He is as much fearful as the other snake without the jewel." Similarly, if a human being has no brain, with his so-called education or no education, it is as good. The education has no value. He does not know what is good work, what is bad work, what is my aim of life, what is this body, what is the soul? If these things he does not know, then what is the value of his education? (pause) So the man is not satisfied?
Guru-gaurāṅga: He was in a hurry to get out. (laughs)
Yogeśvara: Oh, yes. He asked me to excuse him to you. He had a meeting to go to.
Prabhupāda: I will say, "If he has no brain, what is the use of going to a meeting?" (laughter) Our only... Śva-viḍ-varāhoṣṭra-kharaiḥ saṁstutaḥ puruṣaḥ paśuḥ (SB 2.3.19). The men are like dogs, hogs, camels and asses. What they will do? Meeting of the dogs, hogs, camels and asses will be any beneficial to the society? We are very pessimistic, and our conclusion: that anyone who is not Kṛṣṇa conscious, he is dogs, hogs, camels, asses, that's all. No brain. Animal. Animal has got brain: how to eat, how to sleep, how to have sex life. So these people, they have got brain for that purpose only. That is animal life. Actually, they do not know what is the aim of life, why people should be educated, why human society should be organized. They do not know. Bahir-artha-māninaḥ (SB 7.5.31). Enamored by these big, big buildings, that's all. "Oh, they are so advanced." And naturally, the common man comes to a European or American city, he says, "Oh, Americans are so rich." "Rich" means they have piled up stones and bricks, that's all. This is their richness. What is there in the richness here? But people are common men. They think that this piling of bricks and stone is like real civilization. What do you think? Is that real civilization?
Prabhupāda: Piling of bricks and stones? Heaps of stones and bricks? That is emblem of civilization? They have seen. In Rome we have seen, they also piled like that. Now they have gone. Where they have gone? Why they left? Why they were obliged to leave? That nobody is questioning. And if he has got a different body, if he is living in that house as cats and dogs and rats and ants, then what benefit he has derived? There is possibility. If you have got an attraction for the body, for your house, but you are not going to get a human body, then you'll have to take your birth in that place, as tree, as plant, as..., live as rat or cat or ant. You have to live. Nature will give you advantage. But you must get the body according to your karma. That you cannot violate. Where is this science discussed? As soon as we shall speak gentleman like them, they will say, "I have got meeting."
Yogeśvara: Yes, "I must leave."
Prabhupāda: Ah, "I must leave." When we come to real proposition, immediately they want to leave. This is their brain.
Yogeśvara: Every time a gentleman like that comes, when a man like that comes, and we get too close to the point about Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they seem to become afraid.
Prabhupāda: No, as soon as we raise this question, killing, he became sorry. He has no answer. Therefore he wants to be out, evade. "Why Christians are killing?" Anyone I raise this question, immediately he becomes stopped, mum, dumb. That's all. Christian community, there are so many. Practically the majority of the human society, they are Christian. They are the persons who are indulging in killing. And where is Christian? Judging from the Ten Commandments, there is not a single Christian, not a single, and still they are going, the Pope, the cardinal, the priest, the Church. All simply show-bottles, that's all. There is no life. And therefore it is dwindling. Practically... Just like our Los Angeles was Christian church. Nobody was coming. Therefore it was sold. And now there is no place to accommodate devotees. Life is lost in Christian religion. Nobody is interested, no more. And within a few years, it will be lost. It is lost in... I have seen in England, nobody is going to church. All churches are being closed. How long you will cheat? (aside:) What is that?
Prabhupāda: I have got it. You can distribute it.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Prabhupāda, they have the philosophy that..., generally when we ask them, that "God created the world for us to enjoy."
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: They have the philosophy that "God created the world for us to enjoy." That is what the Christian generally says, that "The world is made for us to enjoy."
Prabhupāda: But "enjoy" does not mean that you enjoy sinfully. Did God give that document, that "You enjoy as you like, sinfully." Enjoy. There is prescription. You enjoy to the prescription. God says, tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā mā gṛdhaḥ kasya svid dhanam (ISO 1). You simply enjoy what is allotted to you. Don't encroach upon others' property. This is God's arrangement. You enjoy. As human being, you enjoy life. You have got food grains, fruits, flowers, milk. Enjoy life. Offer to Kṛṣṇa. Enjoy life. Why should you kill animal? That is God's... Tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā. He says, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam (BG 9.26). Why do you go to kill animals? That is not enjoyment. That means you will suffer; that is your suffering. You are creating suffering. So this man is at least informed that they have no brain.
Yogeśvara: Maybe he will tell them at his meeting. (laughs)
Prabhupāda: (laughter) But he could not defend that he has got brain, yes. So however these men may declare very, very big, we know that "You have no brain. You are as good as animal." Therefore Bhāgavata says, śva-viḍ-varāhoṣṭra-kharaiḥ (SB 2.3.19): "These classes of men are no better than the dogs, hogs, camels and asses." Bhāgavata school will not approve these rascals as human being. They are so strict. If one is not on the platform of God consciousness, he is not human being; he is animal. That's a fact. But we should not hate the animals, because our mission is to bring them to the human consciousness. You cannot expect that your audience should be all highly brain. No. Preaching is required because they have no brain. Therefore your duty is to tolerate all difficulties and bring them to the sense of brain. Not that "These people are animals; we shall not mix with them." Then you have no missionary activities. Then you sit down in a place and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Then don't open centers. And that is also dangerous. If we imitate Haridāsa Ṭhākura, "Let us all chant and do nothing," then the māyā, the women, they are very expert. They could not conquer over Haridāsa Ṭhākura, but will conquer upon you. And become victim. Therefore we have to be active. We cannot imitate Haridāsa. Anyone who has imitated the Haridāsa Ṭhākura, he has fallen down. He has fallen. He must fall down, because imitating the highest personality, for which he is not fit, therefore he shall fall down. When by preaching, by chanting we will be expert, then it is possible.
So whether Bhagavān is coming or not?
Guru-gaurāṅga: He missed his airplane.
Prabhupāda: Huh? Missed his airplane?
Guru-gaurāṅga: And now he is supposed to come very, very soon, in about a half an hour. I think there will be many people this evening... (break) (end)